What is a "Statute of Limitations"? 

The legal concept that you need to understand to answer this question is called the "Statute of Limitations." A statute of limitations is a law that sets forth the deadline for which you must file your claim in court. If you fail to file your claim in court within that deadline, and the statute expires, then your claim is extinguished. This means your claim is barred, and you can't file a case.  If you do file a case after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will be dismissed because your right to recovery under the law is extinguished.  In addition, no insurance company will pay you for your claim. 

Why you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible

The penalty for failing to follow the statute of limitations and getting your case on file on time is very harsh. That's why it's extremely important to understand this concept and be aware of the statute of limitations deadline. This is not as simple as you may think for several reasons.  First, the statute of limitations changes based on the type of claim and the law that applies.  Second, there are exceptions and other variables that can impact how a statute of limitations may be applied or calculated in a particular set of circumstances.  Third, the legislature can change these statutes by passing amendments, so these deadlines can change (and may be shortened) in the future.

For this reason, I highly recommend that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney.  They can provide a free consultation to answer your questions and help you identify what statute of limitations deadline is and how it applies to your case. 

Kansas Statute of Limitations

To give you a general idea of what kind of statute of limitations currently exist at the time of this blog post, the statute of limitations in Kansas for a personal injury action or a wrongful death action is two years. Again, this means you must get your case on file with a court in Kansas within two years of the injury or wrongful death.  If you do not, your case is forever barred and will be dismissed.

Missouri Statute of Limitations

In Missouri, the statute of limitations is often different. Missouri law currently requires that a personal injury claim be filed within five years, and a wrongful death action be filed in three years. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are exceptions that can apply and the statute of limitations can sometimes be even shorter.  For instance, in Missouri, an injury or wrongful death claim that is based on medical malpractice has a shorter statute of limitations that is only two years.  

Another reason not to wait 

You do not want to delay until a date even near the statute of limitations to file your case. At our firm, we pursue cases quickly and do not want to wait anywhere near the statute of limitations.  One reason is because you may discover new facts or information after the case is filed.  If there's a change that you need to make, maybe you need to file an amended pleading or to add a new party or claim, you may be barred from doing so if the statute of limitations has expired after the case is on file.  So your case may be filed, and you may have a valid claim, but if you discover new facts showing somebody else is at fault, the statute of limitations can still bar you from asserting a new claim against that new party. 

This is just another reason why you should not wait to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can make sure to get your case on file as soon as possible.  You should also get a free consultation with an attorney as soon as possible.  

Call Our Kansas City Personal Injury Law Firm

Our Kansas City personal injury law firm would be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with a free consultation about your claim.  You can reach us by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out the form below.  There is no obligation to hire our firm, so please do not wait and contact us today.

Kevin J. McManus
Kevin McManus – Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
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